Hong Kong – MobiusTrend, the fintech market research organization, recently released a research report “WIMI’s Self-developed ‘HoloPulse LiDAR’ Enters the Driverless Area, While MVIS.US Successfully Develops a Long-Distance Lidar Sensor”. According to reports, MVIS.US announced that it has completed the development of the long-range lidar sensor A-Sample hardware and development platform, and it will demonstrate the key performance characteristics of its long-range lidar sensor to potential customers and partners. MVIS.US stated that the lidar sensor will reach a distance of 250m and a field of view of 100°x30°. It is expected that the lidar sensor will provide the highest point cloud resolution of 10.8-million-point clouds per second at a frequency of 30 Hz. In addition, this lidar sensor is designed to be immune to interference from sunlight and other lidars.
Microvision CEO SumitSharma introduced the details of his company’s latest LRL iteration: “We hope that our first-generation LRL sensor has a range of at least 250 meters. In the range of any lidar, it has the highest resolution, with 340 vertical lines to 250 meters, 568 vertical lines to 120 meters, and 944 vertical lines to 60 meters.”
Public information shows that MVIS.US (Microvision) is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. It is a small firm that wants to become a large company in the field of lidar (light detection and ranging). The company is committed to laser scanning, 3D sensing, and projection technology. According to reports, its LiDAR technology’s small size and low cost make it attractive, and it is currently the most mentioned stock on WallStreetBets in 24 hours. Moreover, it has surpassed the GameStop and AMC cinema to become a hot spot pursued by retail investors in the United States recently. The recent performance of MVIS.US has surpassed the historically popular stocks such as GameStop and Tesla.
To explain briefly, lidar systems use laser beams to form a three-dimensional image of the environment under investigation. This forms a real-time environmental map. For example, in-vehicle computers can use this data to help self-driving cars navigate. At present, there are only a few pure, publicly-traded lidar stocks in the US market (MVIS.US, WIMI Hologram Cloud, Lumina, etc.).
Why is it that US retail investors have so much preference for lidar stocks recently? Why can lidar concept stocks be on the cusp? Previously, Tesla executives switched to LUMINAR, a leading company in lidar, which caused a lot of sensation in the market, because Tesla CEO Musk had clearly stated that “lidar is only used by fools”. However, accidents of Tesla’s recent autopilot frequently occurred. At the same time, more and more companies are intensively increasing the investments in the field of lidar technology.
There has been news in the market that Apple may be looking for an autonomous driving partner in the near future. As mentioned before, there are not many openly traded pure lidar stocks. In the process of developing self-driving Apple cars, Apple needs the help of a first-class lidar expert. Apple is also actively seeking cooperative suppliers in this field. It now appears that many companies in the lidar field are potential partners.
Each automotive original equipment manufacturer and automotive first-tier supplier has different requirements, such as the field of view, detection distance and other parameters, and the location of the laser radar installation. Thus, it is difficult for one company to dominate the field of lidar. The big winner in this industry has not yet appeared. Moreover, in the future unmanned driving, what role lidar will play is still a question, and there is no standard answer for the entire industry.
LiDAR, the full English name is Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR for short. From a definition point of view, it is a system that integrates three technologies: laser, the global positioning system (GPS), and the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). It is used to obtain data and generate accurate DEM (digital elevation model). The technical principle is that through the transceiver array composed of lasers and detectors, combined with the speed of light scanning, lidar can realize the real-time perception of the environment and obtain accurate distance and contour information of surrounding objects to achieve obstacle avoidance or autonomous navigation.
Lidar has become a popular technology favored by car companies and related companies. It can be foreseen from the current situation that no matter how many voices are opposed, lidar technology will become the “standard configuration” of future cars. The principle of lidar lies in the target object emits a laser beam, and then the distance is judged based on the time interval between the emission and reflection of the beam. Its biggest advantage lies in accurate ranging, which provides data guarantee for the subsequent algorithms of unmanned driving. In addition, lidar can also rely on algorithms to segment and classify obstacles and provide the results to the control and decision-making module to achieve car following, overtaking, parking, and other actions. In terms of auxiliary positioning, it can be compared and matched with the data of the high-precision map to obtain an accurate physical location.
It can be said that lidar makes up for the shortcomings of other sensors and can be effectively used in autonomous driving, providing great assistance to car companies and companies that want to enter the automotive field, and it can also play an extremely important role in the further development of unmanned driving.
According to some media reports, WIMI Hologram Cloud, the representative of global AI visual holography AR, is also catching up with the field of lidar this year. Public information shows that WIMI is currently developing 3D holographic pulse radar product “WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR”. Meanwhile, WiMi HoloPulse LiDAR solution provides a software development kit that will be matched with hardware products, including target detection, classification, and counting functions. Combined with software recognition algorithms, it can provide solutions for many fields (autonomous driving, environment perception, 3D holographic imaging, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), traffic management, 3D printing, etc.), and quickly expand the application market of holographic technology.
According to some public information, WIMI was founded in 2015, and it focuses on holographic cloud services, mainly in vehicle-mounted AR holographic HUD, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR, head-mounted light field holographic equipment, holographic semiconductor, holographic cloud software, holographic car navigation, and other professional fields, covering multiple links of AR technology, including holographic vehicle-mounted AR technology, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR technology, holographic vision semiconductor technology, holographic software development, holographic AR advertising technology, holographic AR entertainment technology, holographic ARSDK payment, interactive holographic communication, and so on. It is a holographic cloud comprehensive technical solution provider.
Overall, lidar technology will see exponential progress in the future. On WallStreetBets, electric vehicles and lidar are now leading the discussion. At the same time, lidar technology and related concept stocks will also set off another wave of the craze in the market. Even if we ignore the possibility of dealing with Apple, the field of lidar is still quite interesting. After all, the lidar technology of the technology company may bring a breakthrough for autonomous driving.
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